Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman 1984, slammed streaming services while she appeared on a panel at CinemaCon on Tuesday. Though many leading actors and directors are flocking to Netflix, Prime, Apple and Hulu, Jenkins has complaints.
“Aren’t you seeing it?” Jenkins, 50, asked. “All of the films that streaming services are putting out, I’m sorry, they look like fake movies to me.”
“I don’t hear about them, I don’t read about them. It’s not working as a model for establishing legendary greatness,” she said. “I don’t think [Wonder Woman 1984] plays the same on streaming, ever. I’m not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever.”
The comments are a bit odd coming from Jenkins, since the Wonder Woman sequel was the most-streamed film of 2020. After the film’s release around Christmas time, Warner Bros. commented that it, “broke records and exceeded our expectations.” HBO Max, where the film was streamed digitally, reportedly had over three times its typical viewership amount.
In comparison to Patty Jenkins’ previous Wonder Woman film, however, $822.3 million at the box office exceeded the sequel’s inability to break even due to a limited run.
She said that while she enjoys working with Netflix on television, she would never “make a movie there or any streaming service with those terms.”
Despite this, Jenkins has already been tasked to complete the trilogy with a third Wonder Woman film for Warner Bros., as well as a fourth spin-off film focusing on the story of the Amazonians. These films will presumably premiere in theaters, unless HBO Max keeps it’s same-day digital streaming model active with Warner Bros. in the future.
“During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home, where theater viewing wasn’t an option,” said Andy Forssell, executive vice president of Warner Media’s direct-to-consumer division.
It’s also difficult to determine what the director meant when she spoke of streaming service films looking “fake.” Without clarifying, Patty Jenkins could have meant that the films looked poorly made, or simply that the small screen did not do the films justice. The Wonder Woman director did not name any specific films in her comments.
Back in December 2020, Patty Jenkins pushed for her movie to be released in theaters instead of on HBO Max, telling fans that she hoped they would enjoy it even after the longer wait.
“First and foremost let me say how much Gal [Gadot] and I love all our devoted Wonder Woman fans around the world, and your excitement for WW84 couldn’t make us happier or more eager for you to see the movie,” she said at the time. “Because I know how important it is to bring this movie to you on a big screen when all of us can share the experience together, I’m hopeful you won’t mind waiting just a little bit longer.”
Box office sales have been hurt dramatically in 2021, but the same-day theater and streaming release method has actually worked for some of the year’s highest selling films.
Space Jam 2: A New Legacy has made $151.8 million so far at the box office after premiering in theaters and on HBO Max, and Marvel’s Black Widow grossed over #371.3 million, with fans able to purchase the film at home on the Disney+ streaming service.
The jury is still out as far as the best methods. However, F9, the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, made over $704 million from in-person box office totals alone.
“It’s hard to market a movie when it has a limited run,” Patty Jenkins said. “I make movies for the big-screen experience.”